Derek Carr

Matt Schaub owning his role as Raiders stopgap QB


The Oakland Raiders have been looking for a franchise quarterback ever since Rich Gannon retired from the NFL. Year after year, the Raiders rotated in different quarterback prospects, but whether they were veterans in the league or young guys hoping to establish themselves, nothing seemed to work under center for the team. The same trend has gone on with the changing of the guard in Oakland after former owner Al Davis passed away.

After the Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin disaster of 2013, general manager Reggie McKenzie set out to find himself a stopgap option at quarterback until he and his coaches could groom a young draft pick. The Raiders ended up going with Matt Schaub, trading a sixth round pick to the Houston Texans to get the veteran. Part of the reason the Raiders dealt for Schaub was experience. As a starter for years in Houston, Schaub went to two Pro Bowls and showed he had the ability to be a top tier player.

But a large part of why McKenzie traded for Schaub likely also rests in the fact that Schaub has shown himself to be a team player from the very start. After the Raiders traded for him, Schaub took the entire offense out for a steakhouse dinner. He also reached out to McGloin to let the second year player know he was looking forward to working with him. As it turns out, Schaub did the same for rookie Derek Carr after he was drafted by the Raiders in the second round of the 2014 draft.

According to Carr, Schaub called him and said “Hey, we’re teammates. I’m here for you every day. Whatever you need, I’m here to help you.” Now, Schaub is no rube — he understands that he has been brought in as a temporary fill-in and, while he plays, the Raiders will actively groom his replacement. However, it shows a lot of class to reach out to the guy who could take your job as soon as next season (or even earlier, should the veteran play like he did during parts of 2013). Schaub understands the position he is in and is embracing it. He is being the kind of team player that McKenzie has repeatedly said he wants to fill the roster with.

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